The Damsel would like to introduce you to today’s substitute teacher (guest poster): The Lovely Jennifer. aka The Jennifer Who Can Do Everything Like Totally.
Hi! I’m Jennifer. I’m a homeschooling mom of 5. I love to be domestic and learn old-school ways of doing things–that’s why I love the Damsel’s blog! I’m happy to participate.
Yesterday was rainy and chilly, which is the perfect weather for making soup. I couldn’t decide which soup I wanted to make, so I made two kinds. Thank goodness the missionaries were coming to dinner to help us eat it!
I made Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, which I have posted the recipe to before, and Sausage and Potato Soup, which I should post the recipe to soon. Both are imitations of Olive Garden soups and both are delicious.
I used to buy pre-packaged gnocchi from the store, but never will again. It is so easy to make gnocchi and it tastes much better than the store-bought variety. Let me show you how easy it is!
First, wash and boil whole potatoes. (I’ll put the recipe at the end.)
When they are done(about 20 minutes or so, but depends on the size), peel the potatoes. You’ll want a sharp paring knife and a dish towel(since they’ll be hot). They should peel easily.
Run the potatoes through a food mill, ricer, grate them, or mash them with a potato masher(this works ok, but not as well as one of the other options as they will incorporate more air into the potatoes making the gnocchi fluffier).
Slightly beat one egg, then add it to the potatoes, stirring quickly to keep the egg from cooking from the heat. Mix in salt & pepper and part of a cup of flour until it starts to all stick together, then sprinkle the rest of the flour on the counter, dump the potatoes onto it and knead it into a dough. You may need a little more flour, but don’t use too much.
Cut the ball into 4ths(and maybe even 8ths), then roll each section into a “rope” that is about 3/4 inch in diameter. This is where all those years making play-dough snakes comes in handy. ;c) Cut it into pieces of about 1 inch.
Now, you can either cook them as they are and have them be little “pillows” or you can shape them. To shape them, press one section against the back of a fork. You might need to dip the fork in flour first to keep it form sticking. Maybe your fingers, too.
Then pull back on the gnocchi, rolling it back on itself. I wouldn’t normally do this with one hand, but I had to take the picture with the other hand. You could also just press them into the fork to mark one side with the tines and not roll it back. Basically, shape them how they look most appetizing to you! ;c)
The first couple might seem time consuming, but you really get going once you get the hang of it and as long as you don’t expect them to be perfect.
Drop them into a pot of boiling, salted water and cook. They will sink when you first put them in and float when they are done(about 2 minutes or so).
Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or sieve. That’s it! You have gnocchi! You can toss them with olive oil(or butter), sprinkle with herbs and eat as they are or use them in a recipe. (You can see the last few of them I didn’t shape, but just left as “pillows”.)
About 2 pounds of potatoes: Russet will do, King Edward are best if you can find them. Yukon gold and red are too waxy to use.
1 egg, lightly beaten: These can also be made without the egg, but I would advise against trying that until you’ve made them a few times. The egg is what helps hold them together.
1 cup of flour: fine flour works best, but you can use all-purpose. You might end up needing more. Don’t use too much, though, or the gnocchi will be too dense. You want the dough moist, but not sticky.
salt & pepper to taste